WISCONSINREPORT.COM (09/11/08) - Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin apparently is attracting white women likely voters to Arizona Senator John McCain. Palin is helping McCain pull away from Illinois Senator Barack Obama in Florida and narrow the gap with the Democrat in Pennsylvania, even as he is slipping slightly in Ohio, according to simultaneous Quinnipiac University Swing State polls released today. No one has been elected President since 1960 without taking two of these three largest swing states in the Electoral College.
Results from the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University polls show:
- FLORIDA: McCain leads 50 – 43 percent, compared to 47 – 43 percent August 26.
- OHIO: Obama is up 49 – 44 percent, compared to 44 – 43 percent last time.
Voters in all three states say Sen. McCain’s selection of Gov. Palin is a good choice: 60 – 26 percent in Florida, 57 – 30 percent in Ohio and 55 – 33 percent in Pennsylvania.
Since August 26, McCain’s support among white women is up four percentage points in Ohio and five points in Pennsylvania, and dropped two points in Florida, where it was high to start.
“White women, a key demographic group in any national election, appear to be in play, with some movement towards Sen. McCain in Pennsylvania and Ohio,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“Obviously Gov. Sarah Palin is having the impact that Sen. McCain hoped when he selected her,” Brown says.
“The size of Sen. McCain’s margin with white voters overall tells the tale. In Florida, where McCain leads among whites by 24 points, that is a large enough cushion for him to survive Obama’s almost total control of the black vote, and strong support among Hispanics,” Brown stated.
“But in Pennsylvania and Ohio, where McCain leads by just six or seven points among whites, he’s behind in the total count,” Brown continued.
“Overall, even among many Democrats, Palin gets good grades. By almost a two-to-one margin, voters see McCain’s choice of her as a good one, roughly the same who feel that way about Sen. Joe Biden,” according to Brown.
President George W. Bush’s approval ratings:
33 – 63 percent in Florida; 30 – 65 percent in Ohio; 26 – 70 percent in Pennsylvania.
- Florida men likely voters back McCain 54 – 41 percent, while women go 47 percent for McCain and 45 percent for Obama, the first time he has trailed among women.
- White voters back McCain 59 – 35 percent.
- Obama leads 55 – 37 percent with voters 18 to 34 years old.
- McCain leads 52 – 41 percent among voters 35 to 54, and 54 – 39 percent with voters over 55.
- Independent voters back McCain 50 – 43 percent, compared to 47 – 39 percent August 26TH.
- 24 percent of those who backed Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary now support McCain, up from 14 percent August 26.
- By a 58 – 29 percent margin, Florida voters have a favorable opinion of McCain, compared to 49 – 35 percent for Obama.
- Palin gets a 47 – 23 percent favorability, with 38 – 28 percent for Biden.
- The economy is the most important issue in the election, 49 percent of Florida voters say, as 12 percent cite the war in Iraq; 11 percent list terrorism; 9 percent say health care and 8 percent say energy policy.
- Florida likely voters say 58 – 38 percent that the vice presidential candidates picked by McCain and Obama will have little impact on which candidate they will pick on Election Day.
“Sen. McCain has opened up a sizable lead over Sen. Obama in Florida on his ability to capture most demographic groups,” said Brown. “He wins voters over age 35 overwhelmingly; takes independents and keeps a larger share of Republicans than Obama captures of Democrats.”
- Obama leads 52 – 42 percent among Ohio women, compared to 51 – 37 percent August 26.
- Men split 47 – 47 percent.
- Obama leads 64 – 33 percent among voters 18 to 34, while voters 35 to 54 split with 48 percent for McCain and 46 percent for Obama.
- Voters over 55 back McCain 48 – 44 percent.
-Independent voters back McCain 47 – 43 percent, compared to a 42 – 38 percent Obama lead August 26.
- 28 percent of former Clinton supporters now back McCain, compared to 23 percent last time.
- McCain gets a 53 – 34 percent favorability in Ohio, identical to Obama’s 53 – 33 percent.
- Palin’s favorability is 41 – 22 percent, compared to 36 – 22 percent for Biden.
- For 52 percent of Ohio voters, the economy is the biggest issue, while 11 percent cite health care; 10 percent say the war in Iraq; 9 percent list energy policy and 8 percent say terrorism.
- The choice of a running mate will have little impact on their vote, 61 percent of Ohio likely voters say.
“Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama are getting the same level of party loyalty and the Republican is even winning slightly among independents," Brown said.
"But Obama is ahead because there are so many more people who identify as Democrats – a legacy of the 2006 election and scandals involving former Gov. Robert Taft’s administration,” Brown added.
- Obama leads 51 – 41 percent with women, compared to 53 – 37 percent August 26.
- McCain leads 51 – 45 percent among men.
- Obama leads 58 – 38 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old and gets 49 percent of voters 35 to 54 to McCain’s 47 percent.
- Voters over 55 back McCain 50 – 43 percent.
Independent voters split with 45 percent for the Republican and 44 percent for the Democrat. This compares to a 48 – 38 percent Obama lead August 26.
- Among former Hillary Clinton supporters, 22 percent support McCain, compared to 25 percent August 26.
- McCain gets a 54 – 34 percent favorability, compared to Obama’s 56 – 29 percent.
- Palin’s favorability is 39 – 26 percent, while Biden gets a 53 – 22 percent score.
- The economy is the most important issue, 51 percent of Pennsylvania voters say, while 12 percent list the war in Iraq; 11 percent cite health care; 10 percent list energy policy and 8 percent say terrorism.
- The choice of a vice presidential candidate will have little impact on their November vote, 59 percent of Pennsylvania likely voters say.
“Sen. McCain has narrowed the gap in Pennsylvania by wiping out Sen. Obama’s lead among independent voters. But Obama still holds a three-point edge by convincing previously uncommitted Hillary Clinton primary voters and Catholics to move into his camp – the Catholics perhaps because of some help from running mate Joe Biden, a Catholic from Scranton,” said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
From September 5 – 9, Quinnipiac University surveyed: 1,032 Florida likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent; 1,367 Ohio likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent; 1,001 Pennsylvania likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research.